Peter Feaver, AGS Director



Peter D. Feaver (Ph.D., Harvard, 1990) is a Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at Duke University. He is Director of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies (TISS) and also Director of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy (AGS). From June 2005 to July 2007, Feaver was on leave to be Special Advisor for Strategic Planning and Institutional Reform on the National Security Council Staff at the White House where his responsibilities included the national security strategy, regional strategy reviews, and other political-military issues. Feaver is author of Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations (Harvard Press, 2003) and of Guarding the Guardians: Civilian Control of Nuclear Weapons in the United States (Cornell University Press, 1992). He is co-author, with Christopher Gelpi and Jason Reifler, of Paying the Human Costs of War (Princeton University Press, 2009), co-author, with Susan Wasiolek and Anne Crossman, of Getting the Most Out of College (Ten Speed Press, 2008), and co-author, with Christopher Gelpi, of Choosing Your Battles: American Civil-Military Relations and the Use of Force (Princeton University Press, 2004). He is co-editor, with Richard H. Kohn, of Soldiers and Civilians: The Civil-Military Gap and American National Security (MIT Press, 2001). He has published numerous other monographs, scholarly articles, book chapters, and policy pieces on American foreign policy, public opinion, nuclear proliferation, civil-military relations, information warfare, and U.S. national security. He is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and blogs at In 1993-94, Feaver served as Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council at the White House where his responsibilities included the national security strategy review, counterproliferation policy, regional nuclear arms control, and other defense policy issues.



Melanie Benson, Program Coordinator


Melanie joins the American Grand Strategy team from Washington, DC, where she most recently acted as the Aerospace & Defense Sector Coordinator at the Boston Consulting Group.  Prior to her move to the private sector, Melanie worked at the Center for a New American Security, a bipartisan national security and defense think tank, and served as a staffer on Capitol Hill.  Melanie holds a M.A. in International Conflict Resolution from the George Washington University and a B.A. in International Affairs, Political Science and Spanish from Marquette University. Reach Melanie at







So Jin Lee, AGS Graduate Fellow



So Jin is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in Political Science at Duke University from Seoul, South Korea. Her primary field is Security, Peace, and Conflict, with a secondary specialization in Methodology. Her main research interests are nuclear weapons security and nuclear diplomacy in international politics. Prior to coming to Duke, she worked as a Researcher for the Political Section at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea. She holds a M.A. in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and B.A. in Politics from Mount Holyoke College. Reach So Jin at







Sarah El Adams, Program Assistant


Sarah received her B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill in 2017 through the School of Media and Journalism with a specialization in public relations and a second major in psychology. She graduated with distinction after developing ICERT — a psychological typology for deviant intelligence personnel — in partnership with the Department of Peace, War and Defense. She has worked with development in Indonesia, served as the Executive Intern for IGP and as a Senate Intern at the North Carolina General Assembly. Reach Sarah at